I ran a stratus 3 last winter exactly for the same reasons you consider using one.
then i tried a mazda 6, and i'l NEVER go back, at least on carpet/rubber. It is really too much on the "safe" side, it really lacks agressivity and it made me drive even less smooth as usual. With a mazda 6 my driving is not the smoothest you'll see but even myself find it much better, not to mention the friends who saw the difference in my driving/lap times.
In short : I 'd rather run my ruined mazda 6 than my almost new stratus 3.
I plan on testing the ltc-r and/or speed 6 pretty soon. Maybe even an old protform alfa 156...